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MU-KU: Beyond the Box Score

I almost feel bad for posting this and knocking ZouDave's highlight video further down the page...almost.  But really, who needs to watch exciting video when they can look at a bunch of numbers???  That's what I thought!

(When in doubt, consult the BTBS glossary.)

As I've been doing recently, before we get to the numbers let's take a look back at the "Game Keys" from last week's BTBS preview...

GAME KEY #1: Third quarter.  That's right, I skipped Q1 and Q2 for once...anything could happen there.  But chances are the game will still be up for grabs come the second half, and the numbers all say something different for Q3.

Nailed it.  Mizzou was up 14-0 at half, but it was the third quarter that defined the game.  Mizzou quickly went up 21-0, and KU had to abandon the run.  Oh, and...

Q3 Success Rate: MU 81.0%, KU 47.4%.  Bingo.

Click 'Full Story' for more...

Game Key #2: Another relative no-brainer...third downs.  The matchups are interesting here--MU is unbelievable on third downs, and KU's unbelievable at stopping third downs.  Vice versa for the KU O and the MU D.  Combined with the fact that KU is shaky in the redzone, and third downs in opponents' territories really could make or break the game...especially in a shootout-type of game.

3rd down success rate: MU 40.0%, KU 30.8%.  This was actually felt like MU's success rate was higher than that.

Game #3: Marcus Henry.  He has almost as many EqPts as Jeremy Maclin in conference play, with 10 less catches.  Across the board, Henry is extremely impressive, but MU has been pretty strong at taking away a QB's #1 option.  Jordy Nelson did almost nothing until the game was out of hand.  Malcolm Kelly was held in check (though Juaquin Iglesias did well).  Todd Blythe did nothing of note.  If Mizzou is able to keep Henry in front of him and doesn't give up Henry's once-a-game homerun, it might be hard for KU to keep up with Mizzou on the scoreboard.

Marcus Henry: 2 catches, 2.64 EqPts.  Catches in the first three quarters: 0.  Another star WR shut down by Mizzou.  Lucky for KU, their second, third, and fourth options (Fields, Briscoe, Meier) came up huge.

Game Key #4: KU OL vs MU DL.  KU's blocking this year has been pretty underrated.  Pretty sure I could have scored on a few of Brandon McAnderson's TD runs.  MU's D-line isn't amazing, but it's strong, and it might be the best DL KU's faced this year.  If KU isn't blowing MU's DL off the line in the first quarter, it could be a long game for KU.  They need those holes, and I'm only about 70% convinced they'll get them.

KU's Line Yards per carry, season: 3.43
KU's Line yards per carry, vs Mizzou: 2.63.  Another huge point for Mizzou.

Game Key #5: Brock Christopher.  Time for him to blow up.  For a good chunk of the season, Christopher led the team in successful tackles and had a success rate well into the 60%'s, but Weatherspoon has significantly overtaken him in November.  Time for a comeback, Brock.

Brock Christopher: 2.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (60.0%).  The success rate's pretty good, but he still didn't make a lot of plays.  But that's probably because the D-linemen were getting there first.

Game Key #6: KU's DL success rate.  I've been quite impressed with McClinton and Brorsen in particular this year, but numbers-wise, they've been solid but nothing more than that.  Against MU's offense, they won't have a ton of opportunities to make plays, but if they're able to assert themselves and take some pressure off of the LBs, that will do the 'Hawks a lot of favors.  Mizzou might run a spread offense, but it exhausts teams, and while KU's LBs are quite good, they'll wear down if they have to make every single play.

KU's DL success rate: 12 tackles, 9 successful (75.0%).  Not bad, but the problem was that the DL only made 15.8% of the defense's tackles, as compared to their season average of 20.9%.  Two of KU's three LBs had good games (Holt and Mortensen), but obviously Mizzou was still more than capable of moving the ball throughout most of the game.

Game Key #7: Kansas is an insane +18 turnovers and +54.00 costliness points.  Turnovers are a vital part of their game.  If they lose the turnover battle, they will almost certainly lose the game.

Turnovers: KU 2, MU 0.  That's all that needs to be said.

Game Key #8: Because it has to be mentioned...special teams.  Jeremy Maclin's a homerun hitter for Mizzou, while Marcus Herford returns just about every kickoff to the 50, Mizzou blocked two PATs last week...and uhh, Mizzou's had some punt block issues as of late.  Not sure who holds the advantage here, but to say it's a 'Key' is a bit of an understatement.

MU special teams: 1 huge punt return, 1 almost-huge kick return (Maclin tripped over Goldsmith...almost broke it), 0 punt struggles, 2-for-2 on FGs from 40+ yards, kept the kickoffs out of Marcus Herford's hands all but one time.

KU special teams: 1 10-yard loss on a punt return, 1 punt fielded at the 3, 0-for-2 on FGs.

Advantage: Mizzou.

Honestly, if you'd told me that Mizzou would be +2 on turnovers, hold KU to less than 2.75 line yards/carry, prevent Marcus Henry from catching a pass until the fourth quarter, and win the Q3 success rate battle 81%-47%, I'd have thought we'd have won by 30.  Power to KU for making it close in Q4.

Alright, on to the stats...

Success Rate by Quarter


Q1: MU 45.5%, KU 23.1%
Q2: MU 46.2%, KU 28.6%
Q3: MU 81.0%, KU 47.4%
Q4: KU 60.0%, MU 29.2%
TOTAL: MU 49.5%, KU 43.7%


Q1: MU 71.4%, KU 16.7%
Q2: MU 41.7%, KU 0.0% (0-for-3)
Q3: MU 63.6%, KU 44.4%
Q4: KU 100.0% (2-for-2), MU 0.0% (0-for-11...ouch)
TOTAL: MU 41.5%, KU 35.0%


Q1: MU 33.3%, KU 28.6%
Q2: MU 50.0%, KU 36.4%
Q3: MU 100.0% (10-for-10!), KU 50.0%
Q4: KU 56.5%, MU 53.8%
TOTAL: MU 55.8%, KU 47.1%

Success Rate by Down

1st: MU 48.8%, KU 32.3%
2nd: KU 58.3%, MU 55.9%
3rd: MU 40.0%, KU 30.8%
4th: KU 100.0%, MU 33.3%

Run Success Rate and PPP

Tony Temple: 22 carries, 3.94 EqPts, 0.18 PPP, 36.4%
Jimmy Jackson: 5 carries, 1.34 EqPts, 0.27 PPP, 60.0%
Jeremy Maclin: 4 carries, 1.17 EqPts, 0.29 PPP, 75.0%
Chase Daniel: 5 carries, 0.63 EqPts, 0.13 PPP, 20.0%
Derrick Washington: 1 carry, 0.32 EqPts, 100.0%
Danario Alexander: 1 carry, 0.13 EqPts, 100.0%
Martin Rucker: 1 carry, 0.06 EqPts, 0.0%
Earl Goldsmith: 1 carry, minus-0.26 EqPts, 0.0%
TOTAL: 40 carries, 7.33 EqPts, 0.18 PPP, 42.5%

Brandon McAnderson: 14 carries, 2.90 EqPts, 0.21 PPP, 28.6%
Todd Reesing: 4 carries, 4.01 EqPts, 1.00 PPP, 75.0%
Jake Sharp: 1 carry, 0.00 EqPts, 0.0%
TOTAL: 19 carries, 6.91 EqPts, 0.36 PPP, 36.8%

Receiver Success Rate and PPP

Danario Alexander: 8 catches, 7.52 EqPts, 0.94 PPP, 87.5%
Tommy Saunders: 8 catches, 4.45 EqPts, 0.56 PPP, 87.5%
Jeremy Maclin: 10 catches, 3.51 EqPts, 0.35 PPP, 60.0%
Martin Rucker: 5 catches, 2.97 EqPts, 0.59 PPP, 80.0%
Will Franklin: 5 catches, 2.82 EqPts, 0.56 PPP, 40.0%
Derrick Washington: 1 catch, 1.90 EqPts, 100.0%
Tony Temple: 1 catch, 1.30 EqPts, 0.0%
Chase Coffman: 2 catches, 0.70 EqPts, 0.35 PPP, 50.0%
Jared Perry: 1 catch, 0.25 EqPts, 0.25 PPP, 100.0%
TOTAL: 41 catches, 25.42 EqPts, 0.62 PPP, 70.7%

This is why defending Missouri is so hard.  You hold Maclin to 0.35 PPP, you hold Rucker & Coffman to just 7 catches and 3.67 EqPts, you hold Franklin to a 40.0% success rate...that's fantastic.  But Alexander and Saunders combine for 16 catches and 11.97 EqPts, and you give up 34 points anyway.

Dexton Fields: 8 catches, 7.56 EqPts, 0.95 PPP, 75.0%
Dezmon Briscoe: 7 catches, 5.05 EqPts, 0.72 PPP, 100.0%
Kerry Meier: 4 catches, 3.60 EqPts, 0.90 PPP, 75.0%
Marcus Henry: 2 catches, 2.64 EqPts, 1.32 PPP, 100.0%
Derek Fine: 3 catches, 1.80 EqPts, 0.60 PPP, 100.0%
Brandon McAnderson: 4 catches, 1.28 EqPts, 0.32 PPP, 75.0%
TOTAL: 28 catches, 21.93 EqPts, 0.78 PPP, 85.7%

Line Yards & Sack Rates

Line Yards: 41 carries, 105.6 line yards (2.58 LY/carry)
Sack Rate (Non-Passing Downs): 26 attempts, 1 sack (3.8%)
Sack Rate (Passing Downs): 26 attempts, 1 sack (3.8%)

Line Yards: 20 carries, 52.6 line yards (2.63 LY/carry)
Sack Rate (Non-Passing Downs): 33 attempts, 1 sack (3.0%)
Sack Rate (Passing Downs): 18 attempts, 1 sack (5.6%)

Defensive Success Rates (Mizzou)

Defensive Line
Stryker Sulak: 5.0 tackles, 4.0 successful (80.0%)
Lorenzo Williams: 2.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (100.0%)
Ziggy Hood: 2.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (20.0%)
Tommy Chavis: 0.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (100.0%)
TOTAL: 10.0 tackles, 7.0 successful (70.0%)

Sean Weatherspoon: 6.5 tackles, 3.5 successful (53.8%)
Brock Christopher: 2.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (60.0%)
Van Alexander: 2.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (40.0%)
TOTAL: 11.5 tackles, 6.0 successful (52.2%)

Defensive Backs
William Moore: 6.0 tackles, 2.5 successful (41.7%)
Carl Gettis: 1.0 tackles, 0.5 successful (50.0%)
Del Howard: 2.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (20.0%)
Castine Bridges: 4.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (11.1%)
Justin Garrett: 2.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
Darnell Terrell: 2.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 18.5 tackles, 4.0 successful (21.6%)

% of plays made by...
Defensive Line: 25.0%
Linebackers: 28.8%
Defensive Backs: 46.3%

Helluva job by the D-line in this game...making as high a % of plays as a DL can be expected to make, and putting together a really strong success rate to match.  The Mizzou secondary struggled at times, but the battle was won in the trenches.

Defensive Success Rates (Kansas)

Defensive Line
John Larson: 5.5 tackles, 5.0 successful (90.9%)
Russell Brorsen: 3.5 tackles, 2.5 successful (71.4%)
Jake Laptad: 0.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (100.0%)
James McClinton: 1.0 tackles, 0.5 successful (50.0%)
Jeff Wheeler: 1.5 tackles, 0.5 successful (33.3%)
TOTAL: 12.0 tackles, 9.0 successful (75.0%)

James Holt: 8.5 tackles, 5.5 successful (64.7%)
Joe Mortensen: 10.0 tackles, 5.0 successful (50.0%)
Mike Rivera: 9.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (22.2%)
TOTAL: 27.5 tackles, 12.5 successful (45.5%)

Defensive Backs
Justin Thornton: 11.5 tackles, 5.0 successful (43.5%)
Chris Harris: 9.0 tackles, 3.5 successful (38.9%)
Darrell Stuckey: 8.0 tackles, 3.5 successful (43.8%)
Sadiq Muhammed: 3.5 tackles, 2.0 successful (57.1%)
Aqib Talib: 4.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (33.3%)
TOTAL: 36.5 tackles, 15.5 successful (42.5%)

% of plays made by...
Defensive Line: 15.8%
Linebackers: 36.2%
Defensive Backs: 48.0%

Turnover Costliness

Kansas1 (Moore INT): 2.95 'costliness points'
Kansas2 (Bridges INT): 3.89 'costliness points'

Mizzou: 0 turnovers, 0 pts
Kansas: 2 turnovers, 6.84 pts

Statistical MVPs

Offense: If we're giving it to a non-QB, it has to be Danario Alexander.  Tony Temple ran quite strong in the first half, but as the KU run D stiffened up, it was Alexander (and to a lesser extent, Saunders) who got the yards when they were needed.  However, I just don't think there's any choice but to give it to Chase Daniel.  KU did as good a job as any at covering MU WR/TEs for long periods of time, and Chase picked them apart anyway.

Defense: I've basically been using the sum of successful tackles and turnover points for this one, and going by that formula, William Moore's 5.45 "points" gets him the nod, followed by Castine Bridges (4.39 points) and Stryker Sulak (4.00 points).  I'd have to say, though, that Sulak's quality plays were important in setting the tone of the game, and he probably deserves a "co-MVP" nod.


UPDATE, 3:00pm: Might as well post the EqPts and VOA numbers (What the hell am I talking about?) here too.

This week's EqPts scores

Missouri 40.53, Kansas 27.53 (actual: MU 36, KU 28)
Oklahoma 58.19, Oklahoma State 21.05 (OU 49, OSU 17)
Texas A&M 39.55, Texas 21.94 (ATM 38, UT 30)
Colorado 58.85, Nebraska 52.23 (CU 65, NU 51)

Big 12 Offensive VOA Rankings

Missouri 146.3
Oklahoma State 131.1
Texas Tech 124.1
Nebraska 114.1
Oklahoma 110.1
Kansas 108.6
Texas 101.4
Kansas State 97.6
Texas A&M 91.1
Colorado 84.0
Iowa State 53.6
Baylor 50.3

Big 12 Defensive VOA Rankings

Kansas 159.1
Oklahoma 137.7
Missouri 127.1
Texas 116.6
Texas A&M 115.6
Texas Tech 106.1
Iowa State 99.9
Oklahoma State 85.9
Baylor 77.8
Colorado 77.7
Nebraska 71.3

Big 12 Combined VOA Rankings

Missouri 273.5
Kansas 267.7
Oklahoma 247.8
Texas Tech 230.3
Texas 218.0
Oklahoma State 217.0
Texas A&M 206.7
Nebraska 185.4
Kansas State 183.3
Colorado 161.7
Iowa State 153.4
Baylor 128.1

NORTH total: 1224.9
SOUTH total: 1248.0

The South is still just a hair better...

EqPts Prediction, Big 12 Championship

Missouri 28, Oklahoma 24